Indian Army ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ Programme

On August 8, 2022, Him Drone-e-thon Programme was recently unveiled by the Indian Army, in association with the Drone Federation of India. The programme was launched in line with “make in India in defence manufacturing”. It aims to catalyse and provide focused opportunities for Indian drone ecosystem, in a bid to build drone capabilities for meeting the needs of Indian troops at frontline.

Highlights of ‘Him Drone-a-thon programme’:

  • The Indian Army is supporting the indigenous drone ecosystem based on the notion that; ‘good available indigenously’ is better as compared to ‘best available globally’.
  • The ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ is pan India programme. It seeks to connect all the stakeholders including industry, software developers, academia, and drone product manufacturers.
  • The programme will be conducted in stages, in which quantifiable parameters such as weight, altitude, range, endurance etc, would be enhanced progressively on the basis of demonstrated capabilities.

As a part of the Him Drone-a-thon programme;

  • Indian Army would conduct broad activities, including interactions between users, academia, development agencies, etc.
  • Development agencies will visit across operational locations, in a bid to recognise the ground perspective & requirements and on-ground trials and actual conduct & evaluation of drone products.
  • Multiple categories are defined for development, including Logistics or Load carrying Drone in High Altitude Areas.

India has avoided to import drones and its components with the objective of encouraging domestic drone manufacturing, boost investments and incentivise domestic drone manufacturers. Import of drones is allowed for limited activities only, after getting import authorization. Directorate General of Foreign Trade had notified on February 9, 2022 to prohibit the import of drones in India with immediate effect, with exception to import of drones with specific purposes.

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